ESL Pro League season 9 Finals 2019 so far has some of the most interesting matchups.

The day finally came when the North American side could prove themselves well against the former #1 team in the world of CS:GO. With a great showing from EliGE, Liquid finally defeated their archrival – Astralis.

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The fated match between the two archrivals

Day 4 of ESL Pro League commenced with the match between FaZe and the home favorite G2. The Frenchmen have been in good shape in this tournament after quite a long time going inactive.

Home crowd advantages?

The match against FaZe kicked off on Train, the map pick of G2. Kenny “kennyS” Schrub has recently been in good form. G2 managed to defeat NRG, one of the best Train team, 16-11 on this very map.

The Baguette showed the reason why they picked this map very well in the first rounds. Jackz displayed flawless Deagle skill to get entry frags, paving the way to bombsites for the Frenchmen.

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kennyS in a good day could beat anyone

In a day when even NiKo was underwhelming in duels, FaZe found themselves in a dire situation where they only got 7 rounds as CT. G2 then finished the job with a great CT side to close the map 16-12.

Dust 2 is the map pick for FaZe. However, that is also one of the best maps for kennyS and Co. The Baguette showed decent defense and dominant offense against NiKo and Co. to seal the deal with another map victory 16-8.

G2 will proceed on the face NRG in the semi-finals.

Most hyped matchup

ESL Pro League marked another comeback attempt from Astralis after being robbed of their #1 team in the world title. The Danes looked shaky when they lost the match against NRG yesterday 1-2.

They would then face another North American squad in the semi-finals – Liquid. This is one of the most iconic matchups in CS:GO history. This often takes place in the grand final. Last year, Astralis and Liquid repeatedly faced each other to contend for the champion of each tournament.

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The most iconic matchup in CS:GO

However, with the downfall of Astralis recently coupled with strong showing from other top 10 teams saw this matchup in the semi-final.

Astralis’ weakness?

The match commenced on Overpass, the map pick of Liquid. Astralis recently showed their weakness on this map where they struggled against MIBR, AVANGAR, Liquid and BIG. Liquid jumped at the chance and picked it right away.

The Danes did their homework well and restructured their weak map. They put up a tight defense against the North Americans, scoring an impressive 10 rounds in a row. The two teams would then trade rounds and finished the first half with 12-3 in favor of Astralis.

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Overpass is Astralis' weakness? Think again

Liquid then struggled to make a late comeback but they had to settle for 12 rounds in total. The Danes walked away with a victory on the map pick of Liquid. Magisk shined in crucial situations and topped the chart with a 1.65 rating.

Astralis’ favorite map?

Things looked gloomy for Liquid when they lost their own map pick. Inferno was the second map as drafted by Astralis. Inferno, together with Nuke, was what made Astralis world-renowned for their great manipulation of utilities.

Astralis got their own long Inferno streak until the overtime match against BIG where they were defeated 17-19.

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Astralis is no longer invincible on Inferno, as well as Nuke

However, just as surprising as Overpass was, Inferno happened in one of the weirdest ways. Astralis hit their shots, found their ways to the bombsites but fell under the great retake executions from Liquid. The first half ended one-sided for the North Americans, 14-1.

Astralis struggled to make a late comeback but the deficit was too high and they had to accept defeat with 6 rounds in total. nitr0 and EliGE showed up well in time with 1.62 and 1.48 rating respectively.

Astralis’ choice over Dust 2?

An interesting thing was that the Danes’ choice of last map was Vertigo. The map came out just recently and was heavily criticized for its overwhelming T-side favored nature. Astralis removed Dust 2 and let Vertigo be the decider map.

The Danes started off the map on the right foot. They broke open the A bombsite and won plenty of clutches. The Danes ended the first half with 11 rounds in the bag, looking to assert CS:GO as their own sacred territory.

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Liquid denied Astralis another title in this 2019

However, after the first half, the North American seemed like to wake up from the slump. They went on and won 10 rounds in a row to outweigh Astralis 14-11. Device and Co. tried to bring the game back with 2 rounds but that was too late. Liquid sealed the deal at 16-13.

Who is the real #1?

Liquid finally proved their #1 position was not just a fluke. They defeated Astralis with the shining performance from each team member. EliGE was phenomenal with 1.46 rating in 3 maps, carrying the North American squad to the semi-final against mousesports.

What can we expect in the next matches?

Currently, there are only 4 teams left to contend for the trophy of the $600,000 prize pool event. Although Liquid is high above the rest, with only NRG #9 in the board, CS:GO nowadays is unpredictable.

An up and coming team

mousesports is a young and dynamic team with a shining performance from each team member. They have built a great synergy and understand each other well in just a short span of time. In the long run, they will be competing well for the top 5 team title.

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They proved well against FaZe even though being a young team

#2 team in North America

NRG is a more structured team with great firepower from young guns like CeRq or Brehze. Their map pool overall is really good with no apparent weaknesses. They are especially strong on Train, a map which we often see Liquid ban.

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NRG is looking sharp with their young talents

The French comeback

G2 was once ranked among the top contenders in the world. They fell into a lump for quite a long time with a mediocre performance from their primary AWPer kennyS. However, this tournament marked the comeback of the Frenchies on homeland soil. In a good day, kennyS could rival NiKo or Guardian, and could very well challenge s1mple or device.

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kennyS is looking all fired up to start winning titles again

The favorite to win this whole tournament

Liquid is undisputable the current #1 team in the world. Their good performance against Astralis proved it well. They boast the highest raw firepower in the CS:GO scene with each team member is a strong aim star. However, strategy-wise, they are not quite good. Liquid relies heavily on their stars showing up each match to win. Also, Train is their weakness where the 3 remaining teams would be more than willing to pick it against Liquid.

CS:GO is arguably one of the most exciting Esports to watch. In this high-level of Counter-Strike, everything is possible. Stay tuned to get infinite hype from kennyS flicks, EliGE AUG or chris.J’s insane smoke crossing.